Pastor Austin Gardner and VBM Director Jeff Bush discuss the setbacks that discouragement and depression can have on a person in ministry, and how one can get past it.

How can we overcome discouragement and even depression when we are doing ministry? 

When you are down or discouraged focus on the following advice: 

  • Don’t let the devil, or a critical person, or even yourself plant untrue negative thoughts 
  • Focus on God’s Word, not the negative inputs 
  • If you focus on the negative thoughts about yourself or your ministry it will lead you to think negatively about everything else, so don’t let them overtake you 
  • Don’t forget to be thankful, to rejoice, to meditate on scripture, and appreciate God’s blessings 
  • Everyone struggles with depression and discouragement, even a great man like Spurgeon dealt with depression his entire life, so know you aren’t alone and there are people who will help you 
  • Get in the right mindset – Focus on the truth and get in God’s Word 
  • Refuse the wrong thoughts and embrace the right ones 
  • Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 
  • II Corinthians 10:5 – Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 
  • Stand at the “gate” of your mind and discern whether each thought is from God or from the devil 
  • Take breaks and relax, but not too many 
  • Preach a message to yourself, find verses that disprove your negative thoughts 
  • Think about God, stop thinking about yourself, focus on how big and powerful he is, and how small we are 
  • Pretend you’re giving someone else advice, take a step back and evaluate your emotions and how you should handle them 
  • Stop with the pity party, it can only be negative to sulk and focus on your own problems 
  • Hurt people hurt people 
  • Pray yourself happy every morning 
  • James 4:7-8 -Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 
  • I Corinthians 2:9 – But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 

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